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Match Making Data

When we talk about the benefits of open data, people describe how opening up information can help the public become “armchair auditors” as well as enable developers to use the data to build new applications. But what about people who work for those public services, could they benefit too?

The Shifting of Ireland's Population to Dublin

Creating relationships between types of data

To help us make sense of this, we looked at the previous posts and saw that the relationships between different types of data that create new meaning. Above is an example of a visualisation which does just that mapping the sift of the Irish population to Dublin over the years (click on the image to activate). So we’ve started to put together a table below showing how the smart use of open data can help people working in public service and civil society organisations.



Potential beneficiaries*

Relationship between…

Different types of statistics around a particular variable (such as a place, service or customer)

Service managers/Members

People or business units connected between each other, so you can evaluate how well they’re delivering together towards objectives

Programme and partnership coordinators, business planning leads/Portfolio leads

Different words through pattern matching or tag clouds

Policy and research officers

Different dimensions of…

Analysis (such as techniques or resources)

Business analysts

Numeric values through circles to compare different aspects of variables

Data analysts

The distribution of resources within a project or department

Resource managers

Change over different options over the same variable, such as time

Service managers

Hierarchical structures where specific issues have been divided into categories (i.e. spending on services divided into different teams)

Organisational and workforce development officers

More traditional graphing, such as line graphs and pie charts

Service managers

Translation of unstructured information to structured knowledge to…

Turn information into structured “issue trees

Consultation and press officers

Graph the importance of specific words over others in documents

Policy and research officers

The roles mentioned are indicative, as I’m sure those roles may have different names where you work.

The examples used aren’t all from the UK, let alone from public services, they are simply the best we’ve found. We really like Bristol’s approach to managing it’s data for research. If you’ve found other really good examples, please add them in the comment box below.

What other types of visualisation have you seen or even created to show the relationships between different types of data?

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